In horror circles, there are dozens of unique and terrifying monsters & villains who we consider iconic; but we know that one of our beloved slashers and/or creatures have made it into popular consciousness when they show up in mainstream cartoons. Such is the case with infamous baddies Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Alien’s xenomorphs, all of whom have graced animated shows including Family Guy, Rick & Morty, and (of course) The Simpsons.
Below, in no particular order, are my choices for the Top 10 Horror Cameos in Popular Cartoons! Have a read and let me know what you think in the Comments section. Did your favorite cartoon cameo make the list? Is there a cameo I missed that you would have included? Let’s discuss!
Freddy Krueger Parody “Scary Terry” on Rick & Morty
In Season 1 episode 2 of Rick & Morty, Lawnmower Dog, the unlikely duo invade the dreams of Morty’s math teacher where they encounter Freddy Kruger parody, Scary Terry. The fiendish nightmare demon chases them through multiple dreams (and realities) causing Rick to become absolutely unhinged. If you want to play a drinking game guaranteed to get you smashed, watch Lawnmower Dog and take a shot every time Scary Terry says “Bitch!”
Alien Queen Says “I’ll Eat You with My Little Mouth” on Family Guy
Known for its nonsequitur cutaways, no context is needed to enjoy this reimagining of Ripley and Newt’s encounter with the Queen Alien from James Cameron’s Aliens. Turns out that little mouth that makes xenomorphs so terrifying actual have minds of their own!
Jason Voorhees Takes Son Justin to Fat Camp on Family Guy
Despite having year-round access to a summer camp, Jason Voorhees’s son is a bit too tubby. Check him out dropping Justin off at Fat Camp in yet another episode of Family Guy.
Every Horror Movie Villain Ever in South Park
Episode 2 of South Park’s Imaginationland Trilogy sees a wall separating good fictional characters from every fictional monster ever conceived is destroyed by terrorists, leading to an unprecedented battle between good and evil. If you can think of a horror movie villain, chances are he, she, or it is included in the melee, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and The Smurfs. The entire episode is worth watching, but the clips above focus on fan favorite Jason Voorhees.
The Shining References in Toy Story
Someone at Pixar has made love for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, as Toy Story is literally stuffed with references to the seminal shocker based on Stephen King’s bestseller. From a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it license plate sporting a particular room number to a carpet with a recognizable semi-honeycomb pattern, the video above will direct you to them all.
The Shining in Bob’s Burgers
Another cartoon that took inspiration from The Shining is Bob’s Burgers; but opposed to mere Easter Eggs like those dropped in Toy Story, Bob’s Burgers delivers a parody of the chilling bar scene from Kubrick’s The Shining. After being trapped between the walls of his restaurant for a few days, Bob’s mental state is deteriorating; the scene parallels Jack Torrance’s descent into madness and it’s an indication of how far downward Bob has spiraled. Of course, Bob’s known for talking to his food and utensils (even going so far as to argue with them) so perhaps he didn’t have far to fall!
Homer Sees C.H.U.D. in The Simpsons
After 25 seasons with an annual horror-themed episode, The Simpsons have featured more horror movie cameos than any other cartoon in existence. But even when excluding the Treehouse of Horror episodes (which I did for this list) our favorite yellow family still manages to cross paths with some iconic villains. In the clip above, Homer takes a semi-suicidal bungee jump from the top of a skyscraper just as maintenance workers below open a manhole. As he continues below ground, Homer spies Morlocks, Mole People, and (my personal favorites) a tribe of C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers).
Twilight Zone Parody on Futurama
Time Enough at Last is one of the most enduring episodes of The Twilight Zone. The story of a bookworm who survives a nuclear war only to break his glasses is a paradigm of ironic tragedy and a cruel twist of fate. The parody of its conclusion in a scene from Futurama (above) adds and then defuses to the inherent horror of the moment by taking it to fantastic (and gruesome) extremes.
Freddy Krueger Does Quagmire a Favor in Family Guy
“P.S. Your vagina’s in the sink!”
This punchline to a dirty joke told by Quagmire on Family Guy makes Peter poop his pants every time he hears it—which becomes a game in and of itself, and a source of more amusement than the original joke! Peter isn’t even safe when he falls asleep, as Quagmire bribes Freddy Krueger (the actual Freddy this time, as opposed to Rick & Morty’s Scary Terry) to deliver the punchline to Peter in his sleep. It’s funny because it’s poop. Poop.
Alien Love in Animaniacs
What begins as a chilling reimagining of Burt’s death scene in Alien descends into a story of unlikely love that simply must be seen to be believed!